Nearly 11 million moochers in US stream music illegally

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apple-music
Apple Music is the one major streamer without a free tier.
Photo: Apple

Apple Music and Spotify pushed their paid subscriber numbers to new heights in 2019, but the number of people that share their account passwords is also increasing.

Nearly $1 billion in possible revenue maybe have been lost in 2019 thanks to stream “mooching”, according to a new study that estimates there are 95 million people in the U.S. using a major streaming service.

Spotify revealed earlier this month that its total paid subscribers surpassed 124 million by the end of 2019. Apple Music hasn’t revealed its numbers since last summer but it’s estimated to have about 70 million paid users globally.

Millenial music moochers

MusicWatch’s Monitor series found that 68 million people in the U.S. pay for their own accounts. 25 million people have access through a family plan and 13 million were on a 13 free trial. Another 10.7 million streamers are on the Free 99 plan and use a log-in that is not from an authorized family plan.

The study found that about 1 out of 3 people not on a family plan share their log-in with someone. Millennials were the most likely to share their streaming credentials with about 44 percent giving out their deets.

Improving education about family plans may convert more users to the higher-priced tier. Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora all offer family plans. Only 4 percent of people with a family plan share their account with someone who doesn’t live in the same house. Researchers found that only 30% of people who were cut off from free access would switch to a paid service. Most other users would just switch to a free ad-supported option.